Nothing really new here, but Chris Robinson puts the practice of free into a current context. Very well done and great to listen to. Extremely cool it was free!
Now, where is that latest copy of Wired I just bought?
I downloaded this for free, which apparently was the author's plan based on some of the free models he describes. This is, at it's heart, a business book that looks at how zero cost can be made to work. In some cases it's because the cost of the item has decreased to the point that it's just easier to round down to zero (although that seems to work best for services and non-physical properties) and in other cases the free item is subsidized by other for-cost products.
While I did get some valuable insight into how to market using free as a model, I do have a couple bones to pick with the premise. First, none of the examples given in the book are truly free. In every case the cost is borne by someone, at some point in the product's lifespan. Sure, Google gives gigabytes of storage and access to their search engine for free, but the costs are covered through AdWords and other Google businesses. It's free to you, but that's because someone else is picking up the tab. To be fair, the author does point this out in his many examples.
On the other hand, he's fallen into the "Music should be free and piracy is good" trap. There are certainly examples that "prove" that piracy has benefited an artist or studio, but I suspect that most artists would prefer a check rather than a kind word. However, he does give examples where artists have created their own pirated music as part of a marketing plan; that may be an interesting strategy in an increasingly digital world.
Overall, some very interesting ideas presented with enthusiasm and energy as read by the author. And giving the audiobook away for free (at least at the time I got it) certainly proves he's willing practice what he preaches.
Overall the book is excellent, it answer anything you would have liked to know about the subject and even more. Narration is pretty fast though, ended up suspecting that is actually a technique so you go and buy the paper edition to be able to think back and review some of the concepts, maybe application of Freemium itself. Very good book overall most recomendable!
This is a very educational book. The author explained well why we get free stuffs and why businesses do them for marketing. So now, we know, while we get deep discounts w/ amazon & the truth is they're earning too much from this trick.
You gotta listen to this!
When I got the book, I expected a manifesto in favor of free stuff on the Internet. I was very pleasantly surprised that it wasn't so. The author did a very good job describing the free economy as a viable alternative to traditional business models. The description of various forms of free, with plenty of examples and side stories makes the book highly useful for anyone contemplating an on-line business. The presentation was also superb. The author read his own book, and despite sounding quite excited about it (in my opinion, that further improved the book), he was very clear in his reading.
The book has a few downsides, though. Most importantly, the author sometimes confuses causation with correlation. This seriously weakens some of his arguments. The other problem was the existence of "sidebars" - related stories, but completely isolated from the main text. While they work well in books, in an audiobook they break the text continuity and make the listening a little more difficult.
Still, overall this is one high-quality book, which anyone in an interest in on-line business should read/listen to.
I found such value in Anderson's observations that I developed an honors college course around it. This book details the transforming power of the internet and its use of minimal incremental cost to change the marketplace. Those who understand "FREE" will rule the future. Those who don't will fail.
Writer, Reader, Former Bookseller (RIP Borders)
Sounds simple, then brainless, then, oh my god, is he really talking about the minutia of data servers... but then a picture starts to develop and *presto* I will never think of pricing, marketing, or FREE the same way ever again. This book helped open my eyes to the 21st century pricing-- and how vital it is as the internet moves from novelty and niche into mainstream and mass market. At times he wandered off topic to talk about the intricate details of things that really didn't matter at all, kind of like trying to follow a dinner conversation with Grandpa, which is why I ducted it to 4 stars. Ultimately, I do think that this book is required reading for business today, certainly worth the tiem it takes to listen. Definitely worth the price!
This book is funny because I downloaded it because it was free thinking it must not be that good... I loved it! Great book for people looking to think differently about their industry. I love the analysis and applications. I sell real estate and this book gave me two great things. First It helped me think of how I can add value to my clients and adapt even if the market changed, and also it let me get a better understanding in the mindset of people who use technology. Great book, lots of applications. Worth much more than free!
I probably never would have read this book in print form but listening to the author read it is completely different. It's fascinating.